Today we celebrate the man who introduced tulips to Holland and the botanist who was supposed to become Carl Linnaeus's son-in-law — but didn't.
We'll also learn about the botanist who loved New Brunswick.
Today's Unearthed Words feature words about winter - and bees in winter.
We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book that helps you recognize elements of good garden design.
I'll talk about a garden item in high demand this time of year.
And then we'll wrap things up with the birthday of a distinguished gardener and garden writer - and she backfilled Vita Sackville-West as the garden columnist for The Observer.
But first, let's catch up on a few recent events.
"Use a garbage can lid, position canes at 12, 3, 6 & 9 o'clock, then fill in between. Then tie a string to the canes, near the top. Repeat for each cane until they're all secured."
Here's a Great Post from Dan Gill:
"The root system of trees is much shallower than most people imagine. The overwhelming majority of a tree's feeder roots (the roots that absorb water and mineral from the soil for the tree) are located in the upper 12 inches of soil. You can see this when a tree blows over, and the exposed root system is shallow and flat like a plate. This makes the root system far more prone to damage during construction than most people realize."
Now, if you'd like to check out these curated articles for yourself, you're in luck, because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community.
There's no need to take notes or search for links - the next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group.
1526 Today is the birthday of the Flemish botanist and founder of the Botanical Garden at Leiden, Charles de l'Écluse ("day-lay-clues").
Charles was an important 16th-century horticulturalist who, like many scientists of his time, translated his name into Latin, and was also known as Carolus Clusius.
Clusius is remembered as the botanist who introduced tulips to Holland.
Around 1560, Clusius wrote that the first tulips appeared in Antwerp & Mechelen ("MEK-lin"). A merchant had gotten a hold of some, and, assuming they were a new kind of onion, he ate a few of the bulbs and then planted the rest. To his surprise, the onions grew into the beautiful blooms we know today as tulips.
In 1593, after a trip to Turkey, Clusius finally obtained some tulips for himself from the Ottoman Sultan Suleyman. Clusius planted them at his botanical garden at the University of Leiden in Holland. Hoping to study their medicinal properties, he was stunned when neighbors crept his garden, stole the bulbs, sold them for ridiculous sums, and launched the Dutch tulip trade. Within decades, Leiden's tulips gave rise to the Tulipmania that still fascinates garden historians to this day.
Today, the tulip has become a national icon of Holland. And, one of the best places to see tulips is at the Keukenhof("GO-KEN-hof") in Lisse ("LISS-ah"), and the best time is generally about halfway through April.
Not surprisingly, Clusius wrote the first major book on tulips. And, Clusius also left his mark on many flowering bulbs. He named the popular Portuguese squill, Scilla peruviana, after a ship christened 'Peru' and not Peru the country. And, Clusius planted the first Crown Imperial. One of his last major written works was a flora of Spain and Portugal that featured 233 botanical woodcuts. It was published in 1576.
The tropical genus Clusia was named by Carl Linnaeus to honor Charles de l'Écluse.
1773 Today is the birthday of the Swedish-English botanist and star pupil of Carl Linnaeus, Daniel Solander.
More than his protégé, Linnaeus had hopes that Solander might become a future son-in-law. From there, Linnaeus hoped he had found his successor as Professor of Botany at Uppsala.
Linnaeus had a daughter named Lisa Stina. Although Solander had fallen for her, Linnaeus lined up an opportunity for Solander to be the chair of botany at St Petersburg in Russia. Linnaeus was putting Solander through the same gauntlet he had experienced before getting married: go out and establish yourself, and then come back here and settle down.
Solander took Linnaeus completely aback when he wrote that he would be staying in England. Solander's letters to Linnaeus became less frequent, and Lisa Stina ended up unhappily married to a grandson of Rudbeck - the family name, after which Rudbeckia or Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are named.
Although Solander dashed Linnaeus's hopes, he became a champion of botanical exploration and left his own considerable mark in the field of botany.
After some time in London, Solander met Joseph Banks at the British Museum, where he was working as an Assistant Librarian. The two decided to partner-up in Captain James Cook's first circumnavigation of the globe. People often assume that Solander was younger than Banks since he was Bank's assistant. In truth, Banks was seven years younger than Solander. When the Endeavour sailed from Plymouth on August 25, 1768, Banks was 25 and Solander 32. The two botanists worked well together. Together, they collected some 800 new plants.
Captain Cook honored the two men by christening Botany Bay after 'the great quantity of plants Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander found in this place.' The outer ends of the bay are Cape Solander in the southwest and Cape Bank in the Northeast. From Botany Bay alone, Solander and Banks found Acacias (uh-KAY-shahs), Eucalyptus, Grevilleas ("gruh-VILL-ee-ah"), Mimosa, and Banksia (which was, of course, named after Joseph Banks).
Unlike many botanists of his time, during his three-year trip around the world, Solander did not send a single one of his discovered specimens to Linnaeus. Solander's sole devotion was to Banks. As for Linnaeus, he could often be heard referring to Solander - the pupil that got away - as "the ungrateful Solander."
When the Endeavor returned to England, most people forget that half of the original crew - some 32 people - had died on the historic voyage. Miraculously, both Solander and Banks survived, and they would go on to explore Iceland together on another voyage.
At home in England, Solander became Banks' secretary and librarian. In 1780, Solander agreed to help the Duchess of Portland with her enormous collections. Sadly, his work was cut short when he died from a brain aneurysm in 1782 at the age of 46.
1864 Today is the birthday of the first professor of botany at Smith College, William Francis Ganong ("GAH-nong").
Ganong's family were famous chocolate-makers. In fact, today, Ganong Chocolate is Canada’s oldest independently family-operated chocolate company. Of course, William was supposed to follow in their footsteps, but he instead lost his heart to natural sciences like botany, history, and cartography.
Today, the Ganong name is synonymous with the Canadian province of New Brunswick. It's not only where the chocolate company is located, but it's also where Ganong did the majority of his work. Every year, for fifty years, during the summer months, Ganong would return to New Brunswick to conduct his research
In 2016, historian Ronald Rees, a retired professor, wrote a biography of Ganong. The following year, Ganong was honored for his contributions to the history and geography of New Brunswick. A statue of Ganong was erected on the banks of the St. Croix river - a place he especially loved. The statue's creator remarked,
"He'll be looking up the St. Croix River, which is quite appropriate."
Here are some words about winter and also, Bees in Winter.
"When I was young, I loved summer and hated winter. When I got older, I loved winter and hated summer. Now that I'm even older and wiser, I hate both summer and winter."
— Jarod Kintz, American Author, This Book is Not for Sale
"It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it. "
— John Burroughs, American Naturalist and Writer
"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn."
— Hal Borland, American Naturalist and Writer
Winter is the season in which people try to keep the house as warm as it was in the summer when they complained about the heat.
"The queen bee alone survives. You never see her playing the vagabond in the fall. At least I never have. She hunts out a retreat in the ground and passes the winter there, doubtless in a torpid state, as she stores no food against the inclement season. "
— John Burroughs, American Naturalist and Writer
Seeing only what is fair,
Sipping only what is sweet,
Thou dost mock at fate and care,
Leave the chaff and take the wheat,
When the fierce northwestern blast
Cools sea and land so far and fast,
Thou already slumberest deep —
Woe and want thou canst out-sleep —
Want and woe which torture us,
Thy sleep makes ridiculous.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Poet and Writer, The Humble Bee
Grow That Garden Library
The subtitle of this book is 100 Contemporary Designs.
Do you ever wish you had an expert who could help you analyze the elements of a successful garden? Well, in this book, Emma Reuss is that person.
Emma quickly defines the seven principals that make gardens go from meh to wow:
- Location: the spirit of a place
- Unity: using themes to unite components
- Simplicity: a fixed amount of complexity - a limited palette - to keep small spaces interesting and large places manageable
- Balance: garden elements should have the same visual weight
- Proportion: the scale of elements
- Rhythm & Repetition: re-introducing elements to promote even more unity
- Focal points: to enhance views and encourage people to move through the garden
Each of the gardens featured in the book is reviewed over four pages, which offer photos, general information, a brief essay, highlighted elements, and a bulleted list of successful design elements.
If you're the kind of gardener who draws Inspiration from garden images or garden tours, this book is for you. More than anything, Emma's book is an idea book - a banquet of successfully designed gardens and unique garden elements to inspire you to dream bigger dreams than emperors - as the saying goes about the plans of gardeners.
Great Gifts for Gardeners
- Amazon Choice & Amazon Prime.
- Lightweight and easy to assemble, no tools are required.
- Waterproof, bug resistant, and portable
- Clear, removable, polyethylene cover and roll-up zippered door for easy access
- 4-tiers for plants, flowers, seedlings
- Ideal for small backyards or homes where space is an issue; place on a deck, patio, or balcony
- Gives seeds, seedlings, and young plants an early start
- Clear polyethylene cover and roll-up zippered door for easy access and provides easy access with humidity control by merely opening/closing the zippered front flap.
- For additional security, a zip tie can be attached from the frame to the shelves, and there are tabs on the back to fasten it to a wall or patio railing.
- Strong push fit tubular steel frame assembles in minutes without any tools
- Enrich your Greenhouse by adding a combination of grow lights, thermometer/hygrometer, heating mats, fans, etc.
- Replacement cover (sold separately) for this Greenhouse is Gardman item #R687SC. Gardman "Bring your garden to life."
- 27" Long x 18" Wide x 63" High
Today's Botanic Spark
1907 Today is the birthday of the distinguished gardener and writer Frances Perry.
Born Frances Mary Everett, her mother, Isabella, took a ten-year-old Francie to see the Chelsea flower show. The experience was etched in her mind and instilled a love for flowers in Frances's heart. Frances was also influenced by her famous neighbor - Edward Augustus Bowles - who went by Gussie with his friends and family. Gussie was a plantsman and writer. He had a large garden featuring a series of garden rooms, and he also held a position on the Council of The Royal Horticultural Society. Frances would pick wildflowers and bring them to Gussie for identification. The two had a special bond.
Gussie recommended Frances to the town's Nurseryman, Amos Perry Jr. The Perry nursery was started by Amos Perry Sr. and the Perry's were famous for their water and waterside gardening. Frances immediately loved working at the Perry's Hardy Plant Farm. In a short while, she was running the aquatic plant department and creating water garden exhibits for the Chelsea flower show. Amos had produced something else of interest for Frances - his son, the fern specialist, Gerald Alfred Amos Perry - who Frances described as, "a brilliant plantsman and propagator. The two were married in 1930 when Frances was just 22 years old. In three years, they had two sons - just eighteen months apart.
In April of 1945, Frances and Gerald's older boy, Marcus, then 13 years old, was killed after being hit by a lorry. In a 1966 column, Frances wrote about an oriental poppy that kept an upright habit, and it had huge, orange-scarlet flowers in July and August — it was named the Marcus Perry. Amos Perry Sr. bred the poppy at the Hardy Plant Farm.
In another column in April of 1990, Frances shared a tip about using poppies as cut flowers. It was something Gussie had taught her long ago:
"His solution, which he taught me, was to take a large jug of very hot water into the garden late in the evening, then cut any buds which had straightened up from their normal bent position and started to show color. These were plunged practically up to their necks in the jug, then taken indoors and left until the next day to be arranged in more suitable vases."
In 1954, Gussie died from a heart attack. It was May - springtime - and his ashes were scattered in his favorite part of the garden - the rock garden.
The 1960s brought tremendous highs and lows for Frances. In 1964, Frances's husband Gerald died. Then, two years later, in 1966, Frances backfilled Vita Sackville-West as the gardening writer for The Observer.
In addition to her column, over her long career, Frances wrote nearly twenty books. As with her first job at the nursery, Water Gardening was still considered her unique topic of expertise.
Frances was dedicated to horticulture, and she experienced great success in her career. Yet, she didn't care for pandering. In I968, she became the first woman to be elected to the council of the Royal Horticultural Society. A controversy about the council not having any women had bubbled to the surface when the chair indicated that he didn't think any women existed that could meet the council's requirements. When Frances was elected, she challenged the council by writing:
"If you want me because I am a woman, the answer is no. If you want me because of anything I have done in horticulture, the answer is yes."
At the age of 70, Frances married Robert Edwin Hay, who went by Roy. Roy was a widower, a fellow horticulturist, journalist, and broadcaster; Frances was three years older than him.
For a dozen years, Roy and Frances made a lovely pair. A life-long gardener, Roy's father, had been a royal estate gardener. Like Frances, when Roy was a boy, his father took him to see the Chelsea Flower Show. After that first visit, Roy attended every show for the next 65 years.
And, Frances and Roy shared another similarity. They both won the Victoria Medal of Honor - an honor awarded to British horticulturists by the Royal Horticultural Society. Roy won in 1970, and Frances won in 1971.
After Roy died in 1989, Frances lived with her younger son. In December of that same year, Frances wrote an editorial called Sowing Seeds Of Thoughts On A Cold Winter's Day. At age 82 and widowed for the second time, life's toll wormed its way into her writing; yet she faced it head-on. Frances began:
"There is nothing static about a garden. All gardeners know this and are constantly devising different features. Yet it's easy to let sentiment or inertia spare plants that have long since past their prime. Too often, also, a design suited to younger gardeners sticks, even though age has made it more and more difficult to manage.
On a cold winter's day, when there is not much we can usefully undertake in the garden, it is worthwhile sitting down to some constructive thinking. Which trees and shrubs have become old, misshapen, and really rather unproductive?"
Over the next three years, Frances would write only a handful of articles. She was slowing down. Frances retired after 26 years with The Observer in May of 1992. Anna Pavord ("PAY-vord") was her backfill. Almost 18 months later, Frances passed away and went to that big garden in the sky.
What Listeners Say
KIND WORDS FROM LOVELY LISTENERS
"I just discovered you!
I googled garden podcasts and
I'm so glad I found the show.
I start every day with The Daily Gardener!"
"I love gardening.
I been gardening for over 40 years.
A friend got me started on listening to gardening podcasts and yours just popped up.
I am all the richer for it!"
"I've been a Still Growing podcast listener for years.
You are so welcoming and your voice is so soothing!
I love The Daily Gardener because it's different. I can't imagine how much work it is to make a show like this but I thank you for it."
SI HORTUM IN HORTORIA PODCASTA IN BIBLIOTEHCA HABES, NIHIL DEERIT.